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Wichita Doctor Takes Up Fight for Abortions

Health Medical Professionals 2011

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#1 Nonny

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 10:15 AM

Wichita Doctor Takes Up Fight for Abortions

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WICHITA, Kan. — Not long ago, Dr. Mila Means, the physician trying to open an abortion clinic in this city, received a letter advising her to check under her car each morning — “because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it,” the note said.

There was reason for concern: the last doctor to provide abortions here was shot to death because of his work. But rather than lower her profile, Dr. Means raised it by buying a car that nobody could miss: a bright-yellow Mini Cooper, emblazoned, appropriately enough, with lightning bolts.

“It’s partly an in-your-face response,” she explained. “You’re looking for me. I’m here.”


Two years have passed since this city, for decades the volatile epicenter of the national fight over abortion, was shaken by the murder of Dr. George R. Tiller — a controversial figure because of his willingness to perform later-term abortions — by a man who said he wanted to stop the killing of babies.

Since then, abortion rights advocates have hoped that someone would take Dr. Tiller’s place to show that violence is not an effective way to stop abortions. Despite their vows to redouble their commitment, the murder of Dr. Tiller actually scared people away. Opponents, even those who criticized the killing, have noted with some satisfaction that no abortions have been provided here since.

Now a little-known physician has stepped into this tinderbox environment to take the mantle — indeed, the very instruments — of the man many abortion rights advocates regard as a martyr.

But Dr. Means is certainly not the ideological warrior many expected to fill his void. She said her decision to start performing abortions was as much about making money for her struggling practice as about restoring access to a constitutional right.

A second effort to establish an abortion clinic is under way, led by a group of prominent abortion rights advocates. The group has raised money but is still searching for a doctor willing to provide abortions in a city where doing so has in recent years required a bulletproof vest and an armored car.

“It’s about restoring access and standing our ground,” said Julie Burkhart, a former political director for Dr. Tiller who now runs the group Trust Women...

“It would have been difficult for Dr. Means to provide abortion care in Wichita, period,” said Peter B. Brownlie, the president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, which dropped plans to open an abortion clinic here after failing to find a local doctor willing to endure the expected harassment. “Now it’s doubly difficult.”

But Dr. Means decided last summer that she had little choice but to try.

She looked at the finances of her solo family practice and figured she might be the poorest doctor in the state. Though she lives modestly, she has had continuing problems managing money: her credit card companies have taken her to court, and her checks occasionally bounce. Determined to work alone, she did not have enough patients to cover the bills.

Offering abortions seemed the easiest way to keep the doors to her small office open, she said. The need was also there, she felt. The nearest provider was more than three hours away, and for the first time patients had been asking her where to go to end a pregnancy. (Statistics kept by the State of Kansas show that the number of women from the Wichita area who received abortions in the state dropped by nearly half.)
Stay safe, stay strong, Dr Means.  

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In 2001, she even interviewed to work at a local pregnancy crisis center that counsels women not to have abortions (she did not get the job, according to both parties, because she expressed her belief that abortion was acceptable in cases of rape or incest). A decade later and no longer a regular churchgoer, she disavows her old views as the result of “religious brainwashing.”
It takes time to overcome the conditioning.  I had to be lying at death's door to overcome my aversion to abortion.   :(

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After buying the equipment last year, Dr. Means found a clinic in Kansas City, Kan., that taught her, free of charge, how to perform abortions, an arrangement that emerged out of a shared belief that Wichita should have an abortion provider.

The first time Dr. Means arrived at the clinic, protesters outside pleaded with her not to have an abortion. The second time, one shouted, incredulously, “You can’t be pregnant again.”
Obviously not the sharpest pencil in the box.    :rolleyes:

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“We already had contacts from the Tiller days, and we got it going again,” said Mark Holick, pastor of Spirit One Christian Ministry, who soon began distributing a flier with her name and address that described her as accepting “blood money for violently slaying the innocent.” (Another Wichita doctor who had also been participating in the training quit.)
Once again, Holick, this is not your business, and stopping women and girls from making their own choices makes you the monster.  In addition, if you stop a woman or girl from having the abortion that would have saved her life, you, Holick, are not just a murderer, but a murderer of the innocent.  

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In the flood of mail urging Dr. Means to reconsider providing abortions, the letter mentioning a possible car bomb arrived from Angel Dillard, a Christian songwriter who had befriended Scott Roeder after he was imprisoned for killing Dr. Tiller. That led the Justice Department to file a lawsuit against Ms. Dillard under a federal law protecting access to abortion clinics.
Isn't it interesting that someone who doesn't believe in abortion under any circumstance is okay with actual murder?  Devil in Angel's clothing.
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

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#2 Vapor Trails

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 05:30 PM

Dr. Means has balls of steel-which is a LOT more than I can say for the so-called "men" who are threatening her. And to any women doing the same-shame on them; they are an absolute disgrace and insult to their sex. :glare:

And that's the most pathetic part of all-there are WOMEN who would side with men in threatening this doctor. Religion-brainwashing?? You REALLY DON'T want to know what I'd call it. Trust me. :angry:

Edited by Vapor Trails, 10 July 2011 - 05:31 PM.

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#3 Tricia

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 06:03 PM

You know I am really tired of those who think the first thing or even second thing to do when they don't like someone else's choices...be it abortion rights, jury decisions, or whatever...is make a death threat.

:headshake:

If they said something intelligent, made an statement as to why they believe this way or that they just think it's wrong, okay... do or say something that can be discussed

but the death threats all the time for anything they don't like...those are just to try to stop any debate or discussion.

Makes me sad for the state of humanity.


Now back to the actual topic---

Edited by Tricia, 10 July 2011 - 07:06 PM.

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#4 Mikoto

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 07:20 PM

I hope she survives to live a long, healthy life giving choice to women.

Edited by Mikoto, 10 July 2011 - 07:20 PM.

Rejected and gone.

#5 Nonny

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 07:31 PM

View PostMikoto, on 10 July 2011 - 07:20 PM, said:

I hope she survives to live a long, healthy life giving choice to women.
Amen to that!!!
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot



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